What Rights?

By , September 6, 2012

“You will be enriched in every way
so that you can be generous on every occasion…”
2 Corinthians 9:11 (NIV)

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We live in an age in western society where people demand their “rights”. However, some of the “rights” we claim seem ridiculous when carefully examined. What “right” do we really have to anything?

What “right” do I have to be born into a rich western country when so many more people are born into extreme poverty? What “right” do I have to live with free medical care?

What is this notion of our “rights”? I really believe that we need to review our thinking on the matter of “rights”.

It might be of interest to us in western society that most people in the poorest countries in the world do not talk about their “rights”. There seems a much greater capacity to accept adversity among people who suffer the most.

We who live in the richest countries seem to think we should have even more. Does prosperity breed greed? Why do those with arms full of blessings seek to clutch them all and then reach for more?

Do I have the “right” to health, a job, a home, a retirement plan and do not other people deserve the same? I am so grateful I do have financial stability when billions do not. But I am willing to say I do not deserve it any more than any other person on earth.

Some people who gripe about God allowing people to suffer hunger never contribute a penny during their lifetime to the support of the needy. Such criticism of God is hypocritical to say the least. Those of us who can relieve suffering from our resources should feel obligated to make a difference where we can.

Has our Creator given some more so they can share with those who have less? That seems to be what our verse today is saying. I believe in voluntary assistance of the suffering among others. I am happy that some of my tax money goes to relieve suffering in other countries. I do seek to give from my after tax resources to alleviate the suffering of others.

But what of the privilege of giving time, compassion, talents, and other personal resources we possess to help others in need?

A hospital visit, a letter of encouragement, a phone call, a meal for a family, lending your cottage to a family in need of it, are just some examples of how we can give even without spending money.

Will you go and serve others in need from the generous resources God has given you? God gave to you so you could in turn give to others. Go and give, and do so today.

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